Monday, August 24, 2009
Born in the USA
After what seemed like an endless vacation, I have returned. I apologize for the communication breakdown, but I had no internet where I was. With a whole lot to talk about in the past week, I am going to stray from the norm here. You might think that I am dying to talk about Favre, or Vick, or Eric Bruntlett's amazing triple play, but no. I am going to talk about women's golf today.
I couldn't believe it yesterday, but I was actually glued to the screen for the 2009 Solheim Cup. In case you missed it (which you probably did) the Solheim Cup is the women's version of the Ryder Cup in which a team of golfer's from the USA take on a team of Europe's best. The USA won after a spirited round of match play with a final score of 16-12. Usually, women's sports are considered to be extremely lousy product in my mind, but women's golf is different. This sport could develop a strong fan base I think.
There is a recipe for success in women's sports. The sport has to be entertaining, the women have to show some physical prowess, and some of the girls have to be hot. Forget Title IX and all that baloney, this is how to make women's sports popular. Lets look at a few of the most popular women's sports and see if they fit the bill. Tennis is one of the most watched women's sports: it is very fast paced and keeps you on your toes watching, girls like Venus and Serena Williams are very physically talented (and could probably beat all of us up), and there are many hot female tennis players. Check.
What about when female soccer was popular? USA was dominating so the games were entertaining for our purposes, the players were definitely skilled, and some of them were pretty good looking. Swimming? I need only throw Amanda Beard's name out there for that one. You can never have one without the others. This is the formula for making women's sports last.
It used to be that the LPGA didn't adhere to this formula. Like the WNBA, the LPGA used to trot out some serious beasts, creatures, man goblins and uggos as their stars. That has all changed now though. With girls like Natalie Gulbis, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie now fixtures on the LPGA tour, let's just say it has become far more enriching to watch. All I could think to myself yesterday while watching the Solheim Cup was "god I want to be at that after party".
As far as women's sports go, you have to give the fans what they want. You need a quality product with a high level of skill, and athletes that people want to watch. After watching the Solheim Cup yesterday, I would argue that women's golf has come a long way from its dark ages and is here to stay as a quality women's sport. I know the Donk would agree with me after his work at the US Women's Open. By the way, did anyone see that triple play yesterday?